Hi BSD Community,
During the 1988-89 school year, I was in the 7th grade at Tyee Middle School, and one of the classes I took was Mr. Hunsberger’s shop class. Shop class was a pre-cursor to what we know now as Career Technical Education (CTE), and Mr. Hunsberger was one of the students’ favorite teachers. Teaching us how to build pasta measurers and cutting boards, Mr. Hunsberger was definitely one of my favorite teachers. And, this year, 34 years later, Mr. (Jeff) Hunsberger, my last teacher who is still teaching, is retiring from the Bellevue School District as a CTE teacher at Tillicum Middle School. I want to thank and honor Mr. Hunsberger and the 40 other amazing educators who are retiring from the BSD this year. You all have touched the lives of thousands of students in our district, and we’re proud of the legacy you are leaving and the impact you have made on countless kids.
In addition to honoring our retirees, this week is GRADUATION WEEK in the Bellevue School District! We’re celebrating the culmination of years of perseverance and hard work by our amazing students. We’re also honoring the families and communities who have supported these students all these years. The students graduating this year had the beginning of their high school experience disrupted by COVID-19. Yet, through it all, with the support of loved ones, they are walking across that stage, celebrating this amazing milestone, and ready to launch the next chapter in their lives. Congratulations to all of our graduates and their families! You did it!
As much as June is a time of celebration, it’s also a time of transition and change. Our graduates are going on to college and careers. Our 8th graders are moving up to high school. Our 5th graders are moving up to middle school. Our pre-Ks are moving up to kindergarten. For our kids, families and staff at Wilburton and Eastgate, I know this is a time of significant transition and change. Amidst the end-of-year celebrations, I know there is also grieving and goodbyes. I want you to know that I see you, care deeply for the kids and communities, and honor you for rallying together and being there for each other as you transition to your new school communities. Thank you to the transition teams who have come together to do the detailed planning to ensure every child got to visit their new school, logistics were ironed out and, celebrations and get-togethers were organized. Thank you to the families, staff, and PTSAs at Wilburton and Eastgate, as well as those from the receiving schools, for all your hard work and care over the past few months to make the transition — particularly for our kids — one of joy and new friendships. Our school communities are vibrant, caring and resilient, and you were an example of that.
Finally, having just been sworn in as the new superintendent effective July 1, I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Art Jarvis, our interim superintendent, for his leadership in Bellevue over the last two years. Dr. Jarvis is the Mary Poppins of public education. He comes in during a school district’s time of greatest need. Instead of singing songs, he tells stories. “Let me tell you a story about a spoon full of sugar….” While he’s with us, he helps to get things in order, heals when healing is required, forces us to face challenges that we need to face — and he does all of this with optimism, wisdom and care. Then, in the same Mary Poppins fashion, when we don’t want him to leave…he leaves. But he leaves us better than he found us. He leaves us focusing on caring for each other, and, most importantly, for the kids. Thank you, Dr. Jarvis, for your outstanding service to the Bellevue School District.
Congratulations again to our graduates. Congratulations to the families and communities who have supported our graduates on their journey. Congratulations and kudos to ALL of our kids, families and staff for a great year of learning and growing. Let’s finish this year strong, knowing that the best of Bellevue is yet to come.
Dr. Kelly Aramaki
Head Cheerleader & Incoming Superintendent
Bellevue School District